×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pokemon Go Maker Niantic Acquires Startup That Develops Multiplayer Augmented Reality Tech

Pokemon Go and games like it may soon allow you to play together with others in augmented reality (AR), if an announcement by the game’s maker Niantic is any indication: Niantic revealed Thursday that it has acquired Escher Reality, a Bay Area-based startup that has developed technology to build advanced AR games and experiences.

Escher Reality’s software essentially allows developers to build AR games that work on both iPhones and Android devices, with the ability to connect multiple devices together so that their users see and interact with the same virtual objects at the same time.  What’s more, Escher even figured out how to build persistent AR worlds, meaning that users can change objects, and then revisit those changes at a later time or leave them for others to discover.

Here’s a video produced by the startup to demonstrate the capabilities of its technology:

“We’re really looking forward to integrating our work on mapping and computer vision technology into Niantic’s amazing content and AR platform,” said Escher Reality CEO Ross Finman and CTO Diana Hu in a blog post Thursday. “The long term vision is to help to bring shared and persistent AR experiences to millions of people around the world, and further realize AR’s impact going forward.”

Escher Reality previously raised $3 million in funding from funders including Uncork Capital, Founders Fund, Y Combinator, Liquid 2 Ventures, Webb Investment Network, iRobot Ventures, Presence Capital and Into Ventures. Niantic didn’t disclose financial details of the transaction, but a spokesperson said that Escher’s entire staff of six is joining the company.

Niantic now plans to integrate Escher’s technology into its own AR platform, with CEO John Hanke saying that the company is looking to enable third-party developers to build their own Pokemon Go-like AR games and experiences later this year. “The addition of the Escher AR technology is incredibly exciting to us at Niantic as it significantly accelerates our work on persistent, shared AR as part of the Niantic real-world application platform,” he said in a blog post.

Niantic is best known for Pokemon Go, but the company has long been building underlying technology to power other AR games as well. In November, Niantic announced that it is cooperating with Warner Bros. on a Harry Potter-themed AR game called “Wizards Unite.”

A Niantic spokesperson wasn’t ready to share any details on whether Pokemon Go or the Harry Potter game are going to get any multiplayer AR elements thanks to the Escher acquisition, but said that the goal was to support cross-platform persistent AR experiences both for in-house titles as well as apps and games built by third-party developers.

More Digital

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

  • Skyline of Doha at night with

    Qatar's beIN Rallies Support From U.S. Companies Against Pirate Broadcaster beoutQ

    Qatari powerhouse beIN Media Group has rallied support from American sports and entertainment entities, including Discovery and Fox, behind its request that the U.S. government place Saudi Arabia on its watch list of top intellectual property offenders. The Doha-based broadcaster, a state-owned spinoff of Al Jazeera news network, accuses the Saudi government of harboring pirate broadcaster [...]

  • Carlos SlimMexican tycoon Carlos Slim participates

    Carlos Slim’s America Movil Looks to Invest $8.5 Billion in Latin America This Year

    América Móvil general director Daniel Hajj has announced that Carlos Slim’s Mexican conglomerate plans to invest $8.5 billion in Latin American in 2019, focusing primarily on fiber-optic infrastructure and updated mobile technologies such as 4.5G and 5gG. In a conference call with analysts, following the company’s recap of fourth quarter results, Hajj laid out the [...]

  • Netflix Gooses Movistar Uptake in Spain

    Netflix Gooses Movistar + Uptake in Spain

    MADRID — Telefonica’s Movistar +, the biggest pay TV-SVOD service in Spain, is feeling the Netflix effect. And for the good. Following Netflix’s launch on Movistar + on Dec. 11, more than one third of new subscribers to Movistar, Telefonica’s telephony, internet and TV service, have taken the new Netflix option. 35% of established clients [...]

  • Transformers: War For Cybertron

    Transformers Origin Story Coming to Netflix as Animated Series in 2020

    Netflix and Hasbro have partnered with Rooster Teeth to bring “Transformers: War for Cybertron” — telling the origin story of the Transformers universe — to the global streaming service in an original series set to launch in 2020. The producers promise that the series will feature a “new animation look and style” that shows the [...]

  • Gimlet Media Podcasting

    Spotify Paid Nearly $340 Million to Buy Podcast Startups Gimlet and Anchor

    Streaming-audio giant Spotify shelled out around €300 million, or about $337 million, to buy podcasting companies — producer Gimlet Media and services provider Anchor FM Inc., the company said. The deals for Gimlet and Anchor, announced last week, were primarily in cash, with the total purchase prices subject to closing adjustments, Spotify disclosed the figure in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content